All three of the EU’s government-run institutions have now banned TikTok, after news that the European Parliament has prohibited the app over security concerns.
Staff at the European Parliament will need to remove the Chinese video-sharing app from their work devices and it has been strongly recommended that they remove it from personal devices.
In a statement, the parliament said: “In view of cybersecurity concerns, in particular regarding data protection and collection of data by third parties, the European Parliament has decided, in alignment with other institutions, to suspend as from 20 March 2023, the use of the TikTok mobile application on corporate devices.”
The European Commission recently announced a similar ban over security concerns and the European Council says that it’s currently in the process of implementing its own measures.
A spokesperson from the Commission said in a statement: “This measure aims to protect the Commission against cybersecurity threats and actions which may be exploited for cyber-attacks against the corporate environment of the Commission.”
An official from the European Council noted: “It will be uninstalling the application on corporate devices and requesting staff to uninstall it from personal mobile devices that have access to corporate services. The Secretariat continuously keeps its cybersecurity measures under review in close cooperation with the other EU institutions.”
TikTok, which is owned by ByteDance, has also faced bans in the US and Canada in recent months over safety concerns. The company recently disclosed that employees in China may have access to the data of users in other countries, including the European Union. It was recently announced that ByeDance planned to open new data centres in Europe.
However, the company said it was “disappointing to see that other government bodies and institutions are banning TikTok on employee devices with no deliberation or evidence.”
It added: “These bans are based on basic misinformation about our company, and we are readily available to meet with officials to set the record straight about our ownership structure and our commitment to privacy and data security. We share a common goal with governments that are concerned about user privacy, but these bans are misguided and do nothing to further privacy or security.”
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